Arianna and Tim Play Footsie

Headshot of Emma Bazilian

Ever wanted to see Arianna Huffington’s bare feet? Not likely, but today, AOL and Huffington Post staffers were all being treated to the view.  
Others at AOL offices throughout the recently downsized company joined the duo in shoelessness in support of “One Day Without Shoes,” the annual event founded by TOMS shoes to raise awareness for needy children in developing countries. AOL posted a video of CEO Tim Armstrong and Arianna explaining the event—and treated us to a close-up of the pair’s own shoeless feet.
We visited the AOL office in New York today and saw a few of the remaining 987 employees at the company fulfilling their own pledges to go barefoot, although most of them already had their shoes safely back on. “Even if you go barefoot for five minutes, people will notice and ask you why,” explained a spokesperson for the event. Employees spent the day enjoying live music performances, making sandwiches for local food banks, and—no doubt to the relief of staffers (and their co-workers) with less-than-pristine feet—getting pedicures.
The “Day Without Shoes” event came as part of the 30 Day Service Challenge that began with the AOL/HuffPo merger. “Our motto as a company is ‘we’re in the business of helping people,’ but it’s one thing to say it and one thing to actually do it,” said the spokesperson. “Deploying employees and giving back globally is what we try to do.”
While they were at it, perhaps AOL should have also considered raising awareness for its 900 recently axed employees going without paychecks, too.

@adweekemma Emma Bazilian is Adweek's features editor.
Publish date: April 5, 2011 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT